Puyallup Herald

New vintage store in Puyallup doubles as community gathering place with food, beer, wine

Co-owners Sierra Baker and Steph Cortez in The Locals Store in downtown Puyallup, Aug. 9.
Co-owners Sierra Baker and Steph Cortez in The Locals Store in downtown Puyallup, Aug. 9. phaley@thenewstribune.com

A new vintage shop has opened in Puyallup, but it does more than sell clothing and home decor.

The shop, called The Locals Store, also serves food, beer and wine and has an outdoor seating area. Co-owners Sierra Baker and Steph Cortez want locals to see the shop as a gathering place.

“We just wanted it to be some place where people could come enjoy the community, like a community spot,” Cortez said.

The food menu changes every week with dishes like barbecue pulled-pork nachos, orzo salad, tomato feta salad, tacos and a cheese plate with smoked salmon.

Cortez, 34, and Baker, 38, describe their shop as “a collection of artists bringing the community together one beautiful piece at a time.”

The shop on 301 3rd St. SE features the work of 10 other artists from all over the Pacific Northwest who sell their products, which range from abstract art to handmade goods.

“We wanted to be very open with our artists. This is their world, too, and we’re giving them a place to express themselves,” Baker said.

Friends in fashion

Baker, a Sumner resident, and Cortez, a Bonney Lake resident, first met six months ago while selling their products at another shop in Sumner, called Inta-Vintage.

Cortez’s business was called Salvaged by Design Co. She sold furniture and home decor. Baker was part of The Black Feather, which sold vintage clothing.

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Co-owners Sierra Baker and Steph Cortez pull down a Crystal Gayle Spoke for a purchaser in their new shop, The Locals Store, in downtown Puyallup, Aug. 9. Peter Haley phaley@thenewstribune.com

They bonded immediately over their love of all things vintage. They got along so well that they took a leap of faith to open a new shop together and found an opportunity in Puyallup at the former location of ETC Gifts and Treasures.

“We immediately had a really good working relationship. We worked really well together,” Cortez said. “We wanted to bring back kind of an artistic feel. We wanted to be happy doing what we were doing.”

Cortez and Baker both had careers before they decided to open vintage businesses. Baker was an officer for the Federal Way Police Department for 15 years and retired last November. Cortez worked in the tech industry, designing and developing training programs. She opened Salvage by Design Co. two years ago.

As they got to know each other, both Cortez and Baker found that their love for antiques stemmed from their childhoods. Baker grew up in Eatonville, where she lived a “simple life.”

“My mom thought that if something could tell a story, we’d appreciate it more, so we never had anything new,” Baker said. “All of our furniture would mean something — she’d hunt it down, tell us about it, where it came from.”

Cortez grew up in Pennsylvania, where her parents renovated old houses. Some of the houses still had servant staircases, Cortez said.

Cortez graduated from Penn State with an entrepreneurship degree but said that opening The Locals Store was a learning experience.

“Every single day Sierra and I come in here, we learn something new and meet new people, and it’s so amazing and wonderful,” Cortez said.

More to come at The Locals Store

The Locals Store officially opened on June 30, but Cortez and Baker are just getting started with their ideas.

In the shop’s fenced backyard, lawn chairs and tables are set up for customers to sit down for drinks and food. Toys are available for children to play with as parents eat or shop.

“We both have young (children), and so many times we’d go into these stores and shop for things, and we found that our families weren’t welcome and they’d kind of look at our kids like, ‘Why’d they bring their children here and why are the children touching things?’” Cortez said.

“We wanted to bring a sense of community and family back into what we love because as small children that’s how we developed our love for antiques.”

A bingo night is planned for the end of August, with other events in the works. More information can be found on The Locals Store Facebook page.

The Locals Store

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday.

Location: 301 3rd St. SE in Puyallup

More information: facebook.com/thelocalstorepuyallup

Allison Needles: 253-597-8507, @herald_allison
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